by Laura Forehand
I think we can all agree that if you believe in God, you also believe He is a pretty big deal. Truly. I mean all you really have to do is go to church on any given Sunday or open a bible to one of the many stories of the miraculous things God did to see… He is indeed good… very good. There are so many victories. Yet, what determines a victory when it comes to God and our prayers? I would venture to say a victory is when God answers our prayers the way we would like Him to. At least, that is what I’ve always heard. You know… a prayer we’ve been praying is answered (with our specific outcome) and we say “God is good!” or we are in prayer about something, perhaps something desperate, and we say “God is going to do something big”.
While I believe with all my heart that God IS good and He CAN do something big, what happens if my prayers are not answered according to my specific plans? What happens if… I’m just gonna be honest here… I can’t even pray? Like the pain is so deep or I am just so emotionally exhausted or angry or numb to pray? Will God still be good? Is He still the God who will do big things in my life?
I have really been wrestling with this question over the last couple of weeks. Slowly, over 20 years of ministry, I have come to believe that if I just pray enough, say the right things at the right time, with just the right amount of faith (zero doubt) then God will be good and do great things. The opposite, then, becomes my biggest source of fear – if I don’t pray enough or say the right things at the right time with just the right amount of faith, God will not be good or do big things. THAT is a tremendous amount of pressure to put on myself. That has me being what only God is.
Here is the truth, y’all. I have doubts. I have doubts because I don’t know. I don’t know LOTS of stuff. There are so many unknowns in my life right now. I do not have the answers. And I honestly cannot say I know God will heal everything. I. Don’t. Know.
But, here is what I do know. God does not change. He is not good when things are going well or when there is healing and “distant” or even “absent” when things are going bad or there isn’t healing. God is good all the time. Don’t churchy people love to say that? But if we are really going to believe that… I mean really believe that… then we have to be okay and know that God is still God even when there isn’t healing. Even when there is uncertainty. Even when there is doubt. I have to believe that He will still do beautifully good things even when there isn’t healing or certainty. I have to believe He holds space for me in the brokenness and the beautiful. That He has unending grace in the certainty and in the doubt.
If I profess that God is good only when I see healing and goodness, I know I am going to miss the beautiful things He will show me and teach me in the uncertainty and difficulties of life.
God IS good and He IS doing big things in everything… everywhere… He is the God who sees me. He sees you. He sits with us and holds Holy space with us in it all. In all of it. Every bit of it. The sweet and the bitter. He is good. He is going to do something big. Even if it looks completely opposite of my plans.